The "Combined Defence Services" Examination (CDS) is conducted twice a year (FEB and NOV) by UPSC for recruitment into one of the following:
- Indian Military Academy, Dehradun - only males
- Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala - only males
- Indian Air Force Academy, Hyderabad - only males
- Officers Training Academy (Males), Chennai
- Officers Training Academy (Females), Chennai
The Notification for the examination is usually released in the months of October and June, and the examinations are conducted in February and November respectively. Only unmarried graduates are eligible to sit for the exam. Successful candidates are admitted into the respective Academies after an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB) of the Ministry of Defence.